April 7, 1932

UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPENCER:

I was wondering if the

question of population had anything to do with it.

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Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No; the question of

population was not regarded as a sound basis upon whioh to determine these contributions when the league was started. I suppose my hon. friend is familiar with the fact that the postal union arrived at certain understandings upon which they classified the different countries, and our original contribution was made under that classification. It imposed upon us rather a heavier burden than would have been the case if population had been the standard, because we occupied a position of somewhat greater importance, from the standpoint of the international postal union, than was indicated by our population. I remember discussing the matter at some length with Sir Herbert Ames when he was attached to the financial section of the league, and he explained to me the difficulties which had been encountered in the early days in arriving at some basis on which the computation could be made. It is not based solely upon population. There were factors which determined the action of the international postal union at one time, and those factors have been considered. Finally the arrangement I have indicated was arrived at, by which the whole cost was divided into 99J shares, our portion being 35.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

It always seems

rather strange to me that it is only under an item of expenditure that we have any opportunity of finding out anything definite in connection with our policies with regard to foreign affairs, but apparently this is the only way we can get at it.

There are one or two matters with reference to which I should like the Prime Minister to make some statement. I refer first to Canada's attitude, in the league, with regard to Manchuria and conditions in China. I think almost everyone must have been disappointed at the attitude of the league, especially in the earlier stages of the trouble. I do not know just what is the position at the present moment, but whatever that may be with regard to the league proper, still the league is only a combination of the member nations, and as yet we have not had a statement as to the attitude of Canada as a member of that league. I wish we might have from the Prime Minister some statement with regard to that whole matter.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I do not know whether

the hon. gentleman desires that I should enter into an historical discussion, in the first in-

Supply-External Affairs

stance, of the incidents that led up to the present conditions in Manchuria and the difficulties that have been encountered in an amicable adjustment of the differences between Japan and China. If so, I shall have to take another occasion for that, but I should like to remind my hon. friend that Canada was not a member of the council of the league, and of course responsibility for the conduct of the business of the league when the assembly is not in session must rest with the council.

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LAB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is quite all right.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Each member of

the league is at liberty under certain circumstances to make representations to the council with regard to anything that is liable to upset the peace of the world.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I was only going to point out that the conduct of the league was determined by the council up to the time the assembly'met and that Canada had not membership in the council. I do not know whether the hon. gentleman desires that I should indicate just what steps were taken by the council. I assume that hon. members are all familiar, from reading the newspapers and the official reports that have appeared from time to time, with the steps that were taken by the council. In the end, the assembly was called together, and as it was called together at a time when the representatives of the government were present in Geneva, in connection with the disarmament conference, they were asked to attend the meeting of the assembly. They did attend at that assembly, participated in the discussions, and assisted in arriving at the conclusions which were reached and which, you might say, were practically unanimous as to what position should be taken.

I did not think it would be wise, and I certainly accept the responsibility for having so advised our delegates, that we should endeavour, with the slight knowledge that we possess as compared with those who are constantly in touch with the situation at Geneva, and those who are responsible for the investigations in Manchuria, either to blame or praise this country or the other in connection with matters so serious as those involved in the then differences between Japan and China. But in view of what the hon. gentleman has said, and owing to the fact that I have not brought with me the papers connected with the meeting at Geneva, I shall be glad to let the item stand and indicate to

the committee just what was done so far as we were concerned, the part our delegates took in the assembly, and the opinions which they expressed at that gathering, and which I think would reflect at least the sober, intelligent and moderate judgment of Canadian public opinion. I shall be glad to do that, and the item can stand for that purpose.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Thanks very much. May I ask the Prime Minister, if on some future occasion he brings this matter to the committee, whether he will also be prepared to give the committee some idea as to what instructions have been given to the Canadian delegates to the disarmament conference? That is a matter of general interest to the people of Canada, and it would be well for us to know just where the government stands with regard to the whole disarmament question. Are we prepared to take any sort of lead with regard to such matters? I suppose that at this late hour there is hardly time to go into that, but when the Prime Minister is bringing down other information possibly he will be willing to give some idea as to where our delegates stand at this time.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I shall be glad to do so, Mr. Chairman.

Item stands.

Expenses of Canadian delegates to the assembly, council and commissions of the League of Nations, $17,000.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Who were the delegates apart from the two ministers?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

This item does not cover the gathering to which the hon. gentleman refers. The meeting of the assembly the other day was a special meeting called as I indicated a moment ago; and as our delegates were present in Geneva attending the disarmament conference they attended the assembly gathering. This item covers the expenses of the. assembly meeting, which is usually held in the fall, and the amount against which it is placed, namely, 818,000, represents the expenditure for last year's meeting. The expenses generally run from $15,000 to $25,000, depending upon the length of the meeting and the numbers that attend.

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Item agreed to. Geneva - Canada's contribution to the expenses of the League of Nations for 1932, including secretariat, international labour organization and Permanent Court of International Justice, $220,613.94.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

This item will stand and I will endeavour to make an explanation such as the hon. gentleman desires.

Item stands.

Survey oj National Ports

External Affairs-salaries, $87,678; contingencies, $67,000.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is a slight decrease in the departmental staff, as will be observed, and the rest of the decrease in expenditures is represented by the ten per cent reduction.

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Item agreed to. Privy Council-salaries, $42,984; contingencies, $7,000.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is a slight decrease brought aibout by a small reduction in staff and the application of the ten per cent.

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Item agreed to. Office of the * secretary to the governor general-salaries, $29,322; contingencies, including house allowance of $1,500 per annum to the secretary to the governor general, $70,500. Mr. BENNETT; This is the item of last year, with reductions. Item agreed to.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is one item I propose to leave. There are three items at the top of page 56, and the first of which, the item for hospitality to foreign visitors, No. 233, has been reduced this year by $23,000, because there were two extraordinary obligations incurred last year for which provision was made. The roya'l houses of Japan and Siam were represented in this dominion during that period. The second item is a revote of some money that has been standing in connection with the arbitration of the I'm Alone case.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I assume that the item for hospitality is exclusive of anything connected with the imperial conference.

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April 7, 1932